Packing Heat In Oklahoma

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Updated: 3/23/2011 12:28 pm Published: 3/22/2011 10:57 pm

Carrying a gun out in the open could become a reality in Oklahoma.

State lawmakers have shot down several gun proposals but one Senate bill still alive has some surprising opponents.

SB 129, sponsored by Senator Steven Russell R-Oklahoma City, would give anyone 18 years of age or older the right to openly carry a gun without a license or training.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford reports why the Oklahoma Rifle Association is saying no to the current proposal.

The uproar with lawmakers first started on campus, college students and faculty member should be able to carry guns. Those proposals were shot down by lawmakers.

Then a bill bringing the vote to the people would allow anyone older than 21 to openly carry a gun with training. That proposal also failed.

"I think you should be able to carry a firearm,” says gun rights supporter Tony Venable.

So does Senator Russell, an Iraqi war veteran who thinks anyone 18 and older should be able to openly carry a gun.

SB129 passed in the Senate and is now in the House for a vote in the Public Safety Committee.

"If you look at our military they are already carrying guns at 18,” says Venable.

An opponent of the bill says there’s training with military personnel.

"If you're going into the military then you have an active duty and the responsibility with those weapons and training rather than randomly being out in the community,” says Drew Waters.

A teenager who isn’t allowed to vote but says if this proposal is approved she would be able carry gun in three years.

"If you're 18 you don't need a gun. You have other ways to protect yourself,” says the teen.

This open carry law wouldn’t require any training not even a concealed carry permit.

"Criminals have guns and so do hunters and other people just for their own protection and having them registered, the honest people are going to have the guns registered, the criminals are not,” says Venable.

The senator says the right to bear arms doesn’t require a concealed carry permit.

"I don't see the greater good to lowering to the age of 18,” says Waters.

The Oklahoma Rifle Association wrote a letter to state representatives opposing  the open carry measure because it violates a federal age requirement of 21 to purchase guns.

“I think it's stupid because you hear about all those stories in high school how people get killed in drive-by shootings. Even 18 year olds using their parents’ guns if they can legally have it make matters worse," says the teen.

This open carry proposal would not allow guns in businesses or places that ban firearms.

A similar open carry proposal was vetoed by former Democratic Governor Brad Henry last year.

Another proposal, HB 1647, sponsored by Representative John Bennet R-Sallisaw, would allow anyone who files a protective order to openly carry a gun.

His proposal was a broader open carry law but it was amended to include people who were waiting or had a protective order granted.  

The bill passed in the House and has now moved to the Senate.

Oklahoma’s ‘Make My Day’ law could also be expanded to include employees.

HB 1439, sponsored by Representative Steve Vaughan R-Ponca City, would give business owners, managers and employees the right to shoot inside a business if they feared their life was in danger.

That bill passed in the House and is now in the Senate.

The Parking Lot/Worker Protection law, HB 1652, sponsored by Representative John Enns, R-Enid, is pushing a law that would make it legal for anyone with a concealed carry permit to lock their gun in their car in parking lots on tech center campuses, government agencies and professional sporting events.

The proposal passed the House and has now been referred to the Senate Public Safety Committee.



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

kaynowwhat - 3/29/2011 8:29 PM
0 Votes
@TeamBritney Yes I do know how much gun permits cost, but this law wouldn't affect permit revenue. There is no money coming in from people open carrying now, so allowing people to do it without a permit isn't costing the state any money at all. And stop with all the "kids" BS. Old enough to fight in a war means old enough to drop the kid moniker. I know you can argue that 18 year olds can still be immature, and that's true, but that's also true about some 40 year olds, and some 60 years olds. It goes to support my point that age limits over the age of majority are just arbitrary feel good measures.

TeamBritney - 3/25/2011 9:19 AM
0 Votes
@kaynowwhat... do know how much a gun permit cost? And for no training as the proposal suggests, kids aren't gonna know where restricted open carry are. They will protest will they get hauled off kicking and screaming like that young armed security who rolled up into Turley Warehouse Market in 2006.

kaynowwhat - 3/24/2011 4:34 PM
0 Votes
@TeamBritney It wouldn't lead to decreased revenue. There's currently no revenue generating activity that this law would replace. The revenue stream from concealed carry permit applications and renewals would be affected if they changed concealed carry to an unlicensed activity, but this bill is pretty revenue neutral. And as far as your earlier posts about the concerts and bar fights goes, it's already illegal to carry into a location thats primary purpose is to serve alcohol, so even if the bill passed people wouldn't allowed to carry into 1974. And I just noticed the opinion from the ORA. "The Oklahoma Rifle Association wrote a letter to state representatives opposing the open carry measure because it violates a federal age requirement of 21 to purchase guns." Federal law states that persons under the age of 18 may not purchase a handgun, but there is nothing keeping an 18 year old from legally possessing a handgun that they may have received as a gift or through inheritance. This law wouldn't violate the federal law. If it did violate it the feds would be all over the other 20 with almost exact copies of this proposed law, as mentioned in my earlier posts. Kind of sad that Oklahoma's pro-2nd Amendment organization is turning out to be anti-2nd Amendment.

TeamBritney - 3/24/2011 1:52 PM
0 Votes
I gladly present to you my next rebuttal..MONEY. And it's not so much as to be made, but what the State will lose if this goofy proposal gets passed. **The cost to register for a permit, and to renew. Not only does the proposal present deadly public hazard, but would create a gaping whole to State revenue.

papdadi - 3/24/2011 10:39 AM
0 Votes
Reality strikes---Socialist? Really? That could not be farther from the truth. Do you even know what the definition of Socialism is? Look around you, America is turning into a Socialist society. Thats whats wrong with us-too much government, too many people telling us what to do. I'm tired of it! Every time you or I turn around there is some legislator,judge, lawyer or cop telling us what we can and can't do. A people that value their priveleges over their principles will soon lose both.

kaynowwhat - 3/23/2011 5:06 PM
1 Vote
@slimjim That is as ridiculous as your previous statement. Criminals are stupid, but they're still human. That instinct of self-preservation never leaves them. You really think that a criminal is going to try and sneak up on someone with a gun and risk getting shot? If it was such a prevalent problem then it would happen to cops all the time. And have you ever worn a holstered gun? It's not as simple as yanking it out. And speaking of cops, of course they're going to oppose it. The OHP union leaders came out against the open carry bill that Gov. Henry vetoed last year. They opposed it for the same reason lawyers are against tort reform, for the same reason that CPAs against a simplified tax system, and for the same reason Congress opposes replacing the income tax with a consumption tax: it takes power away from them. They have power, in this case the right to open carry their firearms, and they don't want to share it. LEOs in all the other states I mentioned don't seem to have a problem with private citizens open carrying. It won't be any different here. Of course, I've always said that there will be a few years when the citizens get used to seeing people OCing, but after that it will become normal and people will realize it's not that big of a deal. But you can't ignore precident. As I said in my other two posts, 20 other states have almost the exact same law as is being proposed here, and their streets aren't running red with blood. There aren't gunfights over parking spaces and fender benders. There aren't criminals stealing from private citizens open carrying en masse. They simply don't have these problems that people against this bill say we'll have if it passes. We're all adults here. It's time to get over the hoplophobia.

slimjim - 3/23/2011 4:38 PM
2 Votes
Don1234 & kaynowwhat, have you taken the time to inquire what those in law enforcement thinks of this open carry for ANYONE? Do you really think a firearm strapped on someone's hip will deter crime? Hardly! The bad guy will probably wait until your head is turned, knock you in the head, take your firearm, and head to the nearest pawn shop. On the other hand, if the bad guy has no idea what is in your purse, or under your shirt, the element of surprise is definitely to your advantage. Personally, I will continue to carry my CONCEALED FIREARM and not try to appear as Wyatt Earp trying to look macho.

RealityStrikes - 3/23/2011 4:05 PM
1 Vote
"Don1234 " LOL ... POOR GUY. This has to do with the 2nd NOT the 1st amendment. >>> ALSO "papdadi " & "kaynowwhat " WAKE UP! Typical socialists.

papdadi - 3/23/2011 3:37 PM
0 Votes
slimjim do you think the dead head meth heads care about the gun carry laws if they're breaking the laws making meth???? Do you think they don't already carry guns? "Anyone can bear arms as long as they are properly trained and qualified?" Last time I checked you don't have to take a class to buy a gun, you just have to not be a felon or convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse. As far as competency goes, I've seen cops I wouldn't trust with a potato gun, let alone a handgun.......

kaynowwhat - 3/23/2011 3:32 PM
0 Votes
@ slimjim Stop it with the ridiculous Wild West comparisons, it's cheapening your argument. Going back to my first post, these are the states that currently allow citizens over the age of 18 to open carry without a permit: WA, OR, ID, NV, SD, AZ, CO, NE, KS, WI, MI, LA, AL, OH, PA, WV, DE, NC, VA, and KY. That's 20 states, or 40% of U.S. states. Taking into account those states' populations, a whopping 33.73% of all Americans live in a state where you can open carry when you're 18 without a permit. Now, keep in mind, that percentage is only made up of the states with similar laws to what we're talking about. A total of 71.86% of all Americans live in a state where OC is legal in one form or another. These are 2010 census numbers I'm referencing here. You're argument is invalid and I dare you to cite an unbiased source supporting your view that lawful citizens open carrying leads to an increase in crime. And before you try to claim that this law would allow those people with felonies on their records to open carry I'll remind you that that's already illegal. So there is already a law prohibiting what a lot of people find wrong with this proposed law.
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